Academic Rules

Credit

 

The unit of credit at SU is the semester hour. Each semester hour represents one class period of 50 minutes per week for 15 weeks, or the equivalent. Laboratory or field courses require a minimum of two or three class periods a week for each credit hour.

This section of the Academic Rules describes certain options for credit that may apply toward some students’ degree and certificate programs. Transfer credit, experiential learning, external exams, and restricted graduate credit are among the examples described below. See the Course Catalog and confer with your academic advisor for a complete overview of credit requirements needed to fulfill your degree or certificate requirements.  

Graduate Definitions

Graduate Students

Residence Credits

Residence credits at Syracuse University are those given for courses offered through duly registered graduate programs.

Restricted Graduate Credit

Restricted graduate credit is credit earned at the graduate level by students who aren’t matriculated in a graduate program. Restricted credit must be converted to graduate credit in order to be included in a graduate degree or certificate program. All coursework taken as a non-matriculated student automatically calculates toward the graduate GPA unless a petition to flag the courses is submitted to and approved by the Graduate School, after matriculation in a degree or certificate program.

Conversion to Graduate Credit

You may apply to have up to 12 credits of restricted graduate credit converted to graduate credit if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • you become matriculated in a graduate degree or certificate program
  • your overall average in all SU graduate work is at least 2.8
  • you earned a B or better in each course
  • your courses are part of a degree or certificate program approved by your department
  • you have completed your coursework within the time limit allowed for the degree

Restricted graduate credit earned during the term in which you become matriculated in the Graduate School is converted automatically to graduate credit.

 School/College Rules

Education In the higher education degree program, no more than six hours of restricted graduate credit may be converted to graduate credit. In all other graduate degree programs, no more than nine hours of restricted graduate credit may be converted to graduate credit.
Management No more than six credits of restricted credit may be converted to graduate credit.

Undergraduate and Graduate Coursework

Undergraduate Students

If you are an undergraduate (matriculated or non-matriculated) who would like to take graduate-level courses at SU that would apply toward a future SU graduate degree or certificate program, you must petition the Graduate School to register for these courses. Such courses will earn “restricted graduate credit” until you register as a matriculated SU graduate student.

After you matriculate, and with Graduate School approval of a petition, the graduate credits earned while an undergraduate will be transferred into your graduate record as a block of credit hours. These credits will not be applied toward the SU undergraduate degree. They will be flagged on the undergraduate section of the transcript and removed from calculations there. Under no circumstances will grades earned in these flagged courses calculate in either the undergraduate or graduate GPA.

No credit that is applied to the undergraduate degree may be applied also to the graduate degree, unless such double-counting falls under the explicit articulation of a combined bachelor’s and master’s degree program that has been approved by and registered with the New York State Education Department.

Calculation of Credit Hours

The following calculate toward cumulative credit and grade totals on your academic transcript:

  • letter grades and Incompletes
  • a course in which a "Pass (P)" was earned is included in total earned credits but not grade point calculations

Calculations made by schools/colleges to determine progress toward degree requirements may exclude courses appearing on your transcript that are not applicable to the specific degree program. As noted under the flagging rules, courses may be removed from calculation under certain circumstances.

Undergraduate Students

With the approval of your home school/college, you may apply as free elective credit up to six credit hours of college-level remedial and developmental courses (numbered 000-099) in which a passing grade was earned toward your degree requirements.

Flagging (Removing Courses from GPA, Credit and Degree Calculation)

Undergraduate and graduate students may petition to have certain courses “flagged,” which excludes them from GPA and semester and cumulative credit hour totals. The flag symbol is noted on the official transcript. Flagging a course may affect financial aid eligibility: e.g., flagging a course in which a passing grade was earned may alter the calculation of satisfactory progress. Once your degree has been awarded, you may not request to flag courses taken before the degree date.

Flagging Courses That Have Been Retaken

To qualify for flagging, both the original and subsequent course must be taken at SU and have the same course subject and number. Except as noted in TABLE A, only the credits and grade received in the second course will count.

  • Both the original course and the retaken course remain on your transcript.
  • You may not flag courses designated as repeatable, since course content is different each time the course is offered. Exceptions:
    • Selected Topics courses (with numbers ending in “00”) may be flagged if they have exactly the same title
    • Proposal for Independent Study courses may be flagged when the course subject, number, description, and requirements are the same
  • If a course is no longer offered under the same subject and/or number, you may petition the school/college in advance to retake the course most nearly equivalent in content and level. Certification by the academic department that the course is a close equivalent, not just a substitution for the degree requirement, is required.
  • Advanced Credit exams or courses that merely substitute for a degree requirement are not considered to be retaken courses for flagging purposes.

Graduate Students

You may petition your academic unit and the Graduate School to flag the following:

  • undergraduate or remedial courses that are not part of your graduate program, such as English as a Second Language
  • courses taken while non-matriculate
  • when officially changing degree programs, courses that don’t apply to your new degree program under certain conditions. Contact your department for further information.
  • when retaking a course in which you earned a grade of C+, C, C- or F, with the approval of your academic unit and the Graduate School. Graduate courses may retaken only once. (Note that unless flagging is requested, both the original course and the retaken course will be included in calculations.)

Undergraduate Students

TABLE A Retaken Courses and Flagging Rules

School/College Retaken Course Rule Flagging Rule
Architecture Any course in which a student has received a grade of C, D, or F may be retaken. No Architecture course may be registered for more than three times. The higher of the two grades is counted in the GPA.
Arts and Sciences Students may retake a course for grade improvement. The higher of the two grades is counted in the GPA. For courses retaken more than once, the two earlier grades may be flagged by petition. Flagging, especially when excessive, may have academic consequences. Students are encouraged to speak to their home college. Flagging of repeated courses is initiated by the college at the conclusion of the semester in which the course was repeated.
Education A requirement may be retaken more than once by advance petition only. Courses may be attempted only three times. The higher of the two grades is counted in the GPA. For courses retaken more than once, the two earlier grades may be flagged by petition.
Engineering and Computer Science Any course with a D or F may be retaken twice. If a student takes a course a third time, only the third grade will be used to calculate the GPA. If a student takes a course a fourth time, the third and fourth grades will be used to calculate the GPA.
Sport and Human Dynamics Nutrition The following required sciences: BIO 121, BIO 216, BIO 217, CHE 106, CHE 116, or MAT 121, MAT 221 must be retaken for credit if a D or F is earned. Any required NHM class must be retaken for credit if a C- or less is earned.

School of Social Work  Any course with a D or F may be retaken once. A requirement may be retaken more than once by advance petition only.
Grades in courses can only be flagged once.
Information Studies Any course with a D or F may be retaken once. Retaking a course more than once or retaking a course in which a C- or higher grade was earned requires advance approval by petition.  
Management Students may retake a course for grade improvement. Normally, students may not retake a course after completing a more advanced course in the same area. Students should check with an advisor in the Undergraduate Office before retaking a course. The most recent grade is used to calculate the GPA, regardless of which grade is higher. Management grades can be flagged only once.
Public Communications Public Communications courses in which a passing grade was earned may not be retaken. A grade of F will be flagged only once for a retaken course. If a student retakes a Public Communications course in which a passing grade was previously earned, the second grade will be flagged.
University College, Bachelor of Professional Studies Required LGL courses with grades of D or F must be retaken for credit. Individual LGL courses may be retaken only once. LGL courses with a grade of D or F will be flagged only once.
Visual and Performing Arts Any academic elective course in which a student has received a grade of D or F may be retaken. A studio course may be retaken only when a grade of F has been received. The higher of two grades is computed in the GPA.

Flagging Courses When Changing School/College or Program

Undergraduate Students

If you are admitted through intra-university transfer into a different SU school/college, you may petition to flag courses you already completed that can’t be included in your new program. You must first meet minimum criteria for admission to the new college or program, and can only petition your new college to flag courses after admission. If you change programs within your school/college, in rare instances when the new program requires preparation distinctly different from that of the former program, you may petition to have courses flagged that can’t be applied toward your new program. Simply changing majors does not qualify for flagging.

Arts and Sciences:  Only D and F grades in non-Arts and Sciences courses that were required for the previous program may be flagged at the student’s request. A, B, C, and I grades in such courses cannot be flagged.

Education and Management:  If you transfer into either of these schools and elect to flag courses that do not apply toward your new program, then you must flag all courses that don’t apply.

Flagging Graduate-Level Courses Taken as an Undergraduate

If you petition to take graduate-level courses that will not apply to your undergraduate degree, you may also petition to flag those courses so that they don’t calculate in your undergraduate record. If the courses are subsequently accepted as restricted graduate credit toward a graduate program at SU, then they will automatically be flagged on the undergraduate transcript. In that case, credits earned in the courses will calculate toward the graduate degree requirements, but the grades will calculate in neither the undergraduate nor the graduate GPA.

Transfer Credit

In compliance with New York State Department of Education regulations, SU only awards transfer credit for courses that are an integral part of an SU degree program, as determined by the appropriate SU academic unit. 

Graduate Students
At the graduate level, schools/colleges and departments may assess and accept credit

  • earned at another regionally accredited graduate school in the United States;
  • earned in a course in which the grade earned was at least a B. Coursework completed on a pass/fail basis is not eligible for transfer, unless approved by both the academic unit dean and the Dean of the Graduate School; and
  • that is an integral part of the degree program, and must be evaluated and approved by the academic department and the Graduate School.   

Transfer credit should be evaluated and posted no later than the end of the semester preceding the semester in which coursework for the degree will be completed. All coursework applied toward a degree must comply with all time limitations. 

A maximum of 30 percent of credits counted toward a master’s degree at SU may be transferred from another institution provided that the credits are an integral part of the degree program. Transfer credit can comprise no more than 50 percent of the doctoral coursework. This rule does not apply to degree programs that are offered jointly with another university. 

School/College Rules

Information Studies Up to 15 credits from National Defense University may be applied to the master of science program in information management.

Credits completed in the information systems managers and telecommunications systems engineers programs at the Army Signal Center School of Information Technology may be applied to the master of science in Information Management, the master of science in information management, and the master of science in telecommunications and network management.
Management Students may transfer a maximum of six credits of elective courses into their M.B.A. or M.S. program from another AACSB-accredited business school. Students must file a petition and receive approval prior to taking the course. Grades from these courses will not be transferred, nor will they count toward the GPA. A grade of B or better is required in the transfer course.
Maxwell Up to 12 credits from Tsinghua University may be applied to the executive master of public administration.
Public Communications A maximum of 20 percent of credits counted toward the following master’s degrees in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications may be transferred: advertising; arts journalism; broadcast and digital journalism; communications management; documentary film and history; magazine, newspaper & online journalism; media management; photography; public relations; and television, radio & film.

Undergraduate Students
Generally, schools/colleges may consider accepting transfer credit from:

  • institutions recognized by
    • regional accrediting commissions
    • national accrediting bodies
    • professional organizations that accredit free-standing professional schools and programs within multipurpose institutions*
    • institutions that are recognized candidates for accreditation
  • recognized foreign tertiary-level institutions, chartered and authorized by their national governments, generally through the Ministry of Education
  • a formal transfer articulation agreement 

For students enrolled in an accredited program at a non-accredited institution, only courses within the discipline that is accredited will be considered for transfer credit. General education and other courses from the institution will not be considered. 

However, not all schools/colleges accept credit from all of these sources. 

SU grants transfer credit based on course content, the quality of your performance, and applicability to your program. Transfer credit is evaluated only for the degree or certificate program to which you’re admitted, and may change if you move into a different SU program. A re-evaluation of transfer credit may also affect your financial aid, especially if your class standing alters. If all of your previous work isn’t accepted for transfer, you may enter SU at a different class level than you had attained at your prior institution. A maximum of 90 credits of transfer credit or a combination of transfer credit and any other credit (e.g., AP exams, experiential learning) will be accepted. 

If you plan to take courses at another institution that will transfer back into your SU degree, obtain your home school/college’s approval before enrolling. If you take courses at a two-year college

  • before junior standing (54 credits), you may take approved coursework during a summer session or while on leave of absence.
  • after attaining junior standing, the only courses that will be approved will be those that fulfill lower-division requirements or free electives.
  • a maximum of 66 credits from a combination of credit from a two-year college and any other credit (e.g., AP exams, experiential learning) will be accepted. 

School/College Rules

Management A minimum of 27 credit hours of required Management courses must be taken at SU.
Public Communications  No more than 12 hours of communications course credits earned in another college or university may be accepted toward meeting the requirements of a major program of study in the School of Public Communications.
University College  No more than 12 credit hours earned in another college or university may be accepted toward meeting the program of study requirements in the bachelor of professional studies degree. No more than nine credit hours earned in another college or university may be accepted to the LGL credit certificate program requirements. No more than three credit hours earned in another college or university may be accepted to the organizational leadership credit certificate program requirements.

How Transfer Credit Applies Toward Your Degree
All SU transfer credit is measured in semester hours. If your prior institution used a different credit hour system, credits accepted for transfer are converted to semester hours, e.g., credit from institutions on the quarter-hour system is converted to semester hours using the formula of one quarter-hour equals 2/3 semester hour. Grades don’t transfer and do not affect your SU cumulative GPA. If you subsequently take a course at SU for which you had previously received transfer credit, the transfer credit will be removed. 

Additional transfer credit rules

  • Grades of C- or below will not be accepted.
  • “Pass” grades must be certified to be at a C level or higher. Pass grades will normally be accepted only as elective credit.
  • Second undergraduate degrees carry additional restrictions; contact your school/college for details.
  • For students on academic probation in Arts and Sciences, Public Communications, and Visual and Performing Arts, transfer credit will not be given until the cumulative GPA is 2.0 or higher.
  • If you were previously matriculated at SUNY ESF, then subsequently matriculated at SU, coursework taken while an ESF student, including SU courses, is treated and evaluated as transfer credit from ESF. Such SU courses do not appear or calculate on the Syracuse University transcript, except as they are included in a block of transfer credits, i.e., total credit hours accepted from SUNY ESF.

Credit for Extra-Institutional and Experiential Learning, and External Examination Programs

Following University rules and program requirements, SU schools/colleges and graduate departments may award credit for various external examinations and other types of extra-institutional and experiential learning. Such credit is evaluated only for the degree or certificate program to which you are admitted, and may change if you move into a different SU program. Credit is evaluated using the guidelines of the American Council on Education and the Council for Advancement of Experiential Learning, as well as our own institutional assessment. See TABLES B, C, and D below for a listing of undergraduate-level exams that may qualify. For examinations or subject areas not covered in the listing below, contact your school/college or appropriate department to determine whether credit may be considered or if you are a candidate for an Advanced Credit Examination. Also contact your school/college to discuss other types of non-institutional experience, such as the military, business, or government, which may qualify for credit.

Undergraduate credit may also be awarded for some matriculation examinations and post-secondary educational experiences offered in other countries. Decisions about awarding such credit are made by the student’s school/college during the admissions process.

Portfolio Review

Credit may be granted for studio work applicable toward professional degrees in the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Architecture upon departmental evaluation of the portfolio.

Undergraduate Students

  • A maximum of 30 credits from any combination of extra-institutional and experiential learning, external examinations, and SU Advanced Credit exams may be accepted.
  • A maximum of 66 credits from a combination of credit from a two-year college and any other credit (e.g., AP exams, experiential learning) will be accepted.
  • If you subsequently take a course at SU for which credit was awarded for extra-institutional, experiential learning, or external examination programs, that credit will be removed.
     

External Examinations

Undergraduate Students

College Board Advanced Placement (AP) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP)
Your home school/college uses the rules in effect at the time you matriculate at SU in order to evaluate and accept degree-program credit for AP and CLEP exams. The academic unit with principal responsibility for the examination subject recommends the minimum score for credit and SU course equivalency; however, your home school/college may have higher score requirements and/or different qualifications, both for awarding credit and meeting degree requirements.
 

TABLE B College Board Advanced Placement Examinations

Exam Subject/Title

Minimum Score

Awardable Credit Equivalent SU Course Recommending School/College Additional School/College Requirements
or Qualifications
Art/Drawing

5

3

Studio Elective Visual and Performing Arts Visual and Performing Arts   Does not count toward Art and Design Freshman Foundation studio courses.
Art/2-D Design

5

3

Studio Elective Visual and Performing Arts Visual and Performing Arts   Does not count toward Art and Design Freshman Foundation studio courses.
Art History

 3

6

HOA 105,106 Arts and Sciences  
Biology

4

6

BIO 200 Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences Students may apply to the chair of the biology department for an additional two credits of laboratory with documentation that the grade on the AP course is an A or B.* The total of eight credits of biology with lab will substitute for BIO 121 and BIO 123/124 in natural sciences and mathematics.
Chemistry

3 or 4

8

    CHE 103 CHE 106/107 and CHE 116/117 Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences Only a score of 5 counts as a sequence in natural sciences and mathematics. Pre-medical students should consult with health professions advising before accepting AP chemistry credit.
Chinese

3
4

4
4

CHI 102
CHI 201
Arts and Sciences
 
Public Communications Must also place out of CHI 102 (with a score of 3) or CHI 201 (with a score of 4 or 5) on the placement exam.
Comparative  
Government and
Politics

3

3

PSC 123 Arts and Sciences  
Computer Science A or Computer Science AB

3

3

CPS 196 Engineering and Computer Science Engineering and Computer Science Students will receive this credit only upon approval of their department chair.
English Language
and Composition

 3

6

WRT 105-205 Arts and Sciences Education (Inclusive) will accept a score of 3 only after a grade of B+ or higher is earned in an SU writing course.
English Literature and Composition

 4

6

ETS 151 (or 117 or 118 or 152 or 153) and WRT 105 Arts and Sciences  Arts and Sciences Students scoring 4 or better will receive 3 credits for ETS 151. Such students who subsequently elect to take ETS 151 may transfer the credit to one of the following: ETS 117, 118, 152, or 153. Three additional credits are awarded for WRT 105.
Environmental
Science

3

3

EAR 200 Arts and Sciences  
European History

4

6

HST 111,112 Arts and Sciences  
French Language 

3

4

FRE 102 Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of FRE 102 on the placement examination.
French Literature

3
4

4
4

FRE 102
FRE 201
Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of FRE 102 (with a score of 3) or FRE 201 (with a score of 4 or 5) on the placement examination.
German Language

3

4

GER 102 Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of GER 102 on the placement examination.
Human Geography

4

3

GEO 105 or 171 Arts and Sciences  
Latin, Catulllus-Horace and/or Latin, Virgil

3

4

LAT 102 Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of LAT 102 on the placement examination.
Italian Language and Culture

3

4

ITA 102 Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of ITA 102 (with score of 3).
Japanese language and Culture

3
4

4
4

JPS 102
JPS 201
Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of JPS 102 (with a score of 3) or JPS 201 (with a score of 4 or 5) on the placement examination.
Macroeconomics

4

3

ECN 102 Arts and Sciences  
Microeconomics

4

3

ECN 101 Arts and Sciences  
Mathematics—
Calculus AB

3


4

3


6 or 4

MAT 285
MAT 285 and 286 or MAT 295
Arts and Sciences Engineering and Computer Science Four credits awarded for MAT 295 only, pending results of the math placement examination.
Mathematics—
Calculus BC

4

8

MAT 295,296 Arts and Sciences Engineering and Computer Science Up to 8 credits awarded for MAT 295 only, pending results of the math placement examination.
Mathematics—
Calculus BC-AB  subscore

3

4

3

6 or 4

MAT 285 MAT 285 and 286 or MAT 295 Arts and Sciences Arts and Sciences Exemption from Quantitative Skills and substitute for MAT 285 in natural sciences and mathematics.
Mathematics Level II

3

3

MAT 194 Arts and Sciences  
Music Theory

3

6

HOM 125, 126 Arts and Sciences  
Physics B

3

8

PHY 101, 102 Arts and Science Education (Inclusive) will accept a score of 3 only after a grade of B+ or higher is earned in an SU lab/science course.
Physics C (Mechanics)

3

4

PHY 101 or 211, 221 Arts and Sciences  
Physics C (Electricity
and Magnetism)

3

4

PHY 102 or 212, 222 Arts and Sciences  
Psychology

4

3

PSY 205 Arts and Sciences  
Spanish Language

3

4

SPA 102 Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of SPA 102 on the placement examination.
Spanish Literature

3
4

4
4

SPA 102
SPA 201
Arts and Sciences Public Communications Must also place out of SPA 102 (with a score of 3) or SPA 201 (with a score of 4 or 5) on the place examination.
Statistics

3

3

MAT 121 or 221 or STT 101 Arts and Sciences Management Credit accepted as MAS 261.
U.S.Government and Politics

3

3

PSC 121 Arts and Sciences  
U.S.History

4

6

HST 101, 102 Arts and Sciences  
World History

4

6

HST 200 Arts and Sciences  

* The option for additional two credits will be eliminated, effective Fall 2012.
† Exam offered in Puerto Rico only.

TABLE C CLEP Examination Credit

 

Exam Subject/Title Minimum Score Awardable Credit Equivalent SU Course Recommending School/College
American Literature 50, plus passing of
oral test at SU
3 ETS 118 Arts and Sciences
French Level I 50, plus passing of
oral test at SU
4 FRE 101 Arts and Sciences
French Level II 62, plus passing of
oral test at SU
4 FRE 102 Arts and Sciences
General Biology 70 6 BIO 200* Arts and Sciences
General Chemistry 50 6

 

CHE 106, 116 Arts and Sciences
German Level I 50, plus passing of
oral test at SU
4 GER 101 Arts and Sciences
German Level II 63, plus passing of
 oral test at SU
4 GER 102 Arts and Sciences
History of U.S. I, II 50 6 HST 101,102 Arts and Sciences
Political Science 50 3 PSC 121 Arts and Sciences
Spanish Level I 50, plus passing of
oral test at SU
4 SPA 101 Arts and Sciences
Spanish Level II 66, plus passing of
oral test at SU
4 SPA 102 Arts and Sciences
Western Civilization 50 6 HST 111, 112 Arts and Sciences

Students may apply by petition to the chair of biology for an additional two credits of laboratory if they can document a significant lab experience and a grade of B or better in their biology courses. The total of eight credits of biology with lab experience documented will substitute for BIO 121-123 in natural sciences and mathematics. 

International Baccalaureate (IB) Credit for Higher Level IB examinations completed with a grade of 5 or higher will be awarded as indicated in Table D. No credit will be awarded for IB Standard Level exams or additional requirements.

TABLE D International Baccalaureate Credit

IB Higher Level Examination Syracuse University Credit
Biology 8 credits—BIO 121 and 123
Business and Organization 6 credits lower division; free elective only
Chemistry 6 credits—CHE 103 and 113
Economics 6 credits—ECN 101 and 102
English—World Literature 6 credits lower division
Foreign Languages No credit awarded. Exemption from basic and continuing skills in foreign languages according to performance on proficiency examination administered by the department.
Geography 6 credits—GEO 105 and 173
History 6 credits lower division
Mathematics 6 credits—Quantitative skills
Philosophy 6 credits—PHI 191 and 197
Physics 8 credits—PHY 101, 102, 111, 112
Psychology 6 credits—PSY 205 and 274
Social Anthropology 6 credits—ANT 111 and 121